Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
Juliet Stevenson is simply the best Austen reader out there. Pay more to get her narrations; they are very much worth the extra. I love Austen, and she's one classical author whose books get a whole new dimension in the audible format. As always, the narrator makes so much difference in the enjoyment of audible books. With Stevenson, you simply cannot go wrong. Persuasion may be the best of Austen's books, and this edition is priceless!
Avid listener on my daily commute!
This was Austen's finest novel, written when she likely knew she was dying (almost certainly of Addison's disease, now treatable, which makes her untimely death at 41, when she had produced only six books, all the more tragic). The effect of this knowledge on her writing, however, was nothing short of transcendent. Razor-sharp, lean (there's not a phrase, not a sentence anywhere that could be cut) and bitter, biting yet gorgeously wrought prose plus a heartrending (and, not to give too much away, ultimately elating) story combine to make this a book you'll return to year after year.
I own every available audio version of Persuasion (which easily ranks at the top of my Top Ten list of favorite books), but this is the only one I've bothered to write a review of, because it is far and away the best. Juliet Stevenson is not only the perfect narrator for the material, she's also one of the ONLY audiobook narrators I've ever heard who somehow gives voices appropriate to each character while simultaneously avoiding the tendency to try to act out, as it were, a kind of one-woman play. She simply reads the book to you with perfect tone and inflection and pacing and intonation at all times, as only she and a handful of other talents (think Meryl Streep and Alan Rickman) seem able to do. I caught only one error in the entire recording, and it occurs twice or thrice: She pronounces the word wont (as in, she was wont to complain whenever it rained) as "won't." But this mistake is as a tiny gnat flying in front of the most gorgeous canvas ever painted.
I'd give this recording six stars if I could. Highly, highly recommended.
Juliet Stevenson gives a truly wonderful reading of this book. I have a hard time with narrators, and I've never found an Austen audiobook I could enjoy before. However, this reading shines. She does the characters well, gives vivacity and emotion to key moments without over stretching, and the cadence and skill of her reading makes the text easily and gracefully accessible. Austen's text shines.
The book itself of course...what is there to say? This is my favorite Austen novel. The story centers around older characters than her other novels, and the tenor of the book in general is more mature. Anne Elliot is also my favorite heroine (although Fanny is a close second, as is Elinor Dashwood). She is exceptionally smart and "tenderness itself." The honesty with which Austen reads and portrays her characters is absolutely brilliant (the gloves are off a bit more in this one than her earlier books).
This one — book and reading — is not to be missed and well worth the investment. I will come back to it again and again.
This is my favorite Austen novel. Its subtle wit and treatment of love, friendship, and avarice are timeless.
Anne's conversation with Captain Harville about constancy, which is overheard by Captain Wentworth and inspires his letter to Anne. Always a tear jerker.
The reader is way, way too dramatic. Jane Austen's style is elegantly simple and straightforward, and the book deserves to be read without the annoying embellishment Juliet Stevenson gives it.
The narrator of this lovely, deeply enriching Jane Austen classic is truly talented. She brings a special insight to the characters of a book that is already special to many generations of countelss readers.
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
I see from other reviews that I am among many for whom Persuasion is the favorite of Miss Austen's books. Anne Elliot is my favorite of all her heroines, always evoking my sympathy for her dignity and composure through the trials of her life. Threaded through the story is the theme of not getting what you want the first time around and, for some, a second chance for the golden ring. Whether all these characters get their prize, or even deserve it, is revealed as only Austen can do.
Overall I thought Juliet Stevenson read well, especially conveying Anne's calm exterior and the haughtiness of her father and sister Elizabeth. But at times she overdramatised - making sister Mary sound a bit like Miss Piggy, and at the end, as Mr. Wentworth pours out his heart he sounds more like a distraught female than the hero. Had to downgrade the performance score a bit for those periodic missteps. Still, revisiting this old favorite is as comfortable as a warm cup of tea.
I gave the story 4 stars because it is my least favorite of Jane Austen's novels, but the worst Jane Austen book is still better than most books. The narrator is perfect. My only problem is that once I downloaded it and put it in iTunes, the sound quality was not nearly as good as it is in the sample on this website. I had the same problem with Northanger Abbey, also read by Juliet Stevenson, but I did not have this problem with Pride and Prejudice or Emma, both read by different narrators, which I downloaded about a year ago. This makes me think that the problem is with the Juliet Stevenson Persuasion and Northanger Abbey files, and not with my own computer. Juliet Stevenson does an amazing job, though, so I still recomend this, but be forewarned that the audio quality may not be as good as it is in the sample.
I first saw a movie version of Persuasion over 15 years ago and ever other year I rewatch it. I as hesitant to get an audiobook version fearing the story would be too familiar and I'd grow bored. I'm glad that I took the chance. The narrator is a very talented actress and made the story come alive. The book, as often happens, had details left out of the film that helped fill out secondary characters. I couldn't stop listening.
This is the recording that sold me on audiobooks in general. Juliette Stevenson's narration is superb, and Austen's witty, ironic style make her works perfect candidates for being read aloud. Highly recommended.